RWLPINDI  -   The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has urged government to finalize Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) policy 2019 as SMEs play a key role in accelerating economic growth and pave the way for employment generation and new enterprise creation.

RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem, while addressing a traders meeting at chamber house on Friday, said that economies with strong small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are progressive in nature and experience robust economic growth. There is a dire need to attach significant value to the development of the SMEs which will ultimately result in integrating the issue of small business development. He said small and medium sized businesses form the backbone of all the economies, more so in a developing country like Pakistan. The government must take key stakeholders on board while finalizing national SMEs Policy 2019. In Pakistan around 99% of economic establishments were the SMEs and public sector support could increase their growth and development, he added.

He urged government to launch a series of preferential taxation policies. The income tax policies for small enterprises in Pakistan should be reduced so that more people can start their own ventures, he suggested. The new enterprises that engage with transportation, posts and telecommunications, consultation, information industry and technological industry should be exempted from one year of taxation, he added.

Malik Shahid Saleem also mentioned that RCCI in its annual 11th Chambers Presidents’ Conference urged government to revisit banking system for financing SMEs and the process must be made easy to help out the SME’s in the country. The enlistment of SME’s in stock exchange should be promoted as the model of neighboring countries, he further added.

He pointed out that the recently negotiated free trade agreement (FTA) with China was an opportunity for the SMEs to gain access to the Chinese market.